Top UK television experts have gathered at the University of Stirling to debate the future of factual programming.
Leading figures from the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV, and independent producers and directors, joined Stirling academics at the ‘Focus on Scotland’ symposium (view video highlights of event).
Dario Sinforiani, Head of Production Teaching at Stirling, said: “We were delighted to host Focus on Scotland. It offered a chance for everyone from commissioners, content-makers, lecturers and students to meet and discuss the big topics around factual TV production in Scotland.
“We’ve also had the chance to announce our new and unique Masters course in Television Content Development and Production and are delighted that so many of the big-hitters in production, who were part of the event, will be involved in our course.
“We want to be a bridge between education and industry, and we think the Focus in Scotland event proved we can achieve that.”
Issues discussed at the symposium, held on 23 October, included:
- the impact of the new BBC Scotland digital channel on factual production
- how broadcasters and programme-makers deliver diversity on-screen and behind the camera
- how independents can gain a bigger slice of UK-wide commissions
- how Scottish companies can tap into international markets
The MSc Television Content Development and Production has been developed in partnership with industry and will be taught by experienced practitioners. The course focuses on the practical elements of television production: growing ideas, developing proposals and making programmes (view examples of Stirling students’ video work produced in recent years).
Ewan Angus, BBC Scotland’s Commissioning Editor TV, said: “This event is about bringing together industry practitioners, academics, people who are maybe starting out in the industry and people who have been around the industry for a good number of years and can give some benefit of their experience to others.”
Mark Roberts, Firecrest Films’ Creative Director, said: “I think it’s incredibly important that people from all across the industry in Scotland from different genres and experiences are coming together to talk about the most important issues that are affecting the industry, both nationwide and in Scotland.”
Gill Wilson, Channel 4’s Head of Features, said: “I think what’s really brilliant about this event is that it’s a really good fusion of individuals from the media industry and students together on student turf, in a university setting, which I think makes it a slightly different atmosphere – one where people aren’t surrounded by their peers and contemporaries. They’re out of the office and thinking in a slightly different way - and they get to meet the people who will be making television in the future, and that’s a great thing.”
Greg Barnett, Channel 5’s Commissioning Editor, said: “If I can take anything away from today’s session, I want to take a nice list of people I can send emails to and set up meetings with, and we can embark on a fabulous relationship and make loads of good telly.”